By Robin May
As you are considering your plans for 2017, I want to remind you to add your marriage to your list of priorities. It is so easy for us leave our marriages on the back burner and assume (or maybe hope and pray) that things get better or at the very least, that things stay the same. But why leave your romance up to chance? You can create momentum for your marriage by doing THREE simple things NOW!
Let’s get right too it:
- PRE-DETERMINE SIX SET-IN STONE DATES JUST FOR THE TWO OF YOU!
Of course it is important for you and your spouse to have more than 6 dates in 2017. But in order to make sure that you and your spouse have something specific to look forward too, I want you to pull out your calendars and PRE-DETERMINE at least 6 times on your calendar that is just for the two of you! This means, if necessary you can go ahead and schedule the time off from work, find a sitter to watch the kids or even book a flight if you want to get fancy!
Now here is a bit of extra-credit for any marriage nerds like me: You can make it even more fun if both of you choose 3 of the 6 days that you will be solely responsible for creating the experience. So in other words, you are responsible for what happens during your pre-determined dates 3 times out of six dates, and the other 3 dates your spouse is responsible for creating the experience. That allows your date night to still be a surprise even though it has been scheduled in advance.
Remember, you and your spouse should spend more time together than just 6 dates! This will just help jumpstart your year!
2. SET ASIDE TIME TO COMPLETE YOUR FAMILY STRATEGIC PLAN!
According to Proverbs, “Without a vision, the people perish”! In other words, without a vision, you and your spouse will find yourself going with the flow, instead of directing the flow. If we are not careful, our marriages can fall into a business-like connection where we partner in some things together, but we are really living separate lives.
In order to protect against this, I encourage couples to complete a FAMILY STRATEGIC PLAN. A strategic plan will help you and your spouse identify your mutual goals for the year, identify individual goals and determine if they fit within the overall family vision, it will create a synergy and connectedness between you and your spouse and it will help you know when you are off track.
I believe in this strategy so much, that I have created a template to help you! You can simply click HERE to gain access to it.
3. IDENTIFY A PROJECT THAT THE TWO OF YOU CAN DO TOGETHER!
Remember when I said how easy it is for a couple to partner together in some things, but overall live separate lives? I actually have referred to this as the ROOMMATE ZONE. The roommate zone is when you and your spouse have started to operate more like two people cohabitating and not two people building a life together. You pay bills together, help one another out with the children, but the bond between the two of you is friendly at best.
But, there are some practical strategies that you can use to help with this challenge. One of the ways you and your spouse can stay connected is by finding something that the two of you can do together. Maybe it is volunteering for a non-profit or starting a new hobby together (like golfing, tennis, maybe even restaurant hopping). You and your spouse can also learn something new together (maybe a new language or taking a class) or even something as simple as completing a project in your home (maybe paint some furniture).
The idea is that you are working together towards a common goal, which can help you stay connected and even grow together!
Remember, many marriages suffer from unintentional neglect. As you are being prayerful about 2017, make sure you incorporate your marriage in your plans!
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